Page images
PDF
EPUB

De

!

Circumdat nequicquam humeris, et inutile ferrum 510
Cingitur, ac densos fertur moriturus in hostes.

Ædibus in mediis, nudoque sub ætheris axe
Ingens ara fuit, juxtàque veterrima laurus,

Incumbens aræ, atque umbrâ complexa Penates. 515. Condense sunt Hic Hecuba et natæ nequicquam altaria circùm,

51E circum altaria præcipi. tes, ceu columbee volant Præcipites, atrâ ceu tempestate columbæ, ab atra tempestate, et Condensæ, et Divûm amplexæ simulacra tenebant. amplexe

Ipsum autem sumptis Priamum juvenilibus armis 518. Autem Hecuba, Ut vidit : Quæ mens tam dira, miserrime conjux, ut vidit Priamum ipsum, Impulit his cingi telis ? aut quò ruis ? inquit.

520 juvenilibus armis sump- Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis tis, inquit: 520. Impulit le cingi Tempus eget : non, si ipse meus nunc afforet Hector.

Huc tandem concede: hæc ara tuebitur omnes;
524. Aut tu moriere Aut moriere simul. Sic ore effata, recepit
simul nobiscum.
Ad sese, et sacrâ longævum in sede locavit.

925
Ecce autem elapsus Pyrrhi de cæde Polites,
Unus natorum Priami, per tela, per hostes
Porticibus longis fugit, et vacua atria lustrat
Saucius: illum ardens infesto vulnere Pyrrhus

Insequitur, jam jamque manu tenet, et premit hastâ. 530
531. Tandem, ut eva- Ut tandem ante oculos evasit et ora parentum,
sit ante oculos et ora Concidit

, ac multo vitam cum sanguine fudit. parentum

Hìc Priamus, quanquam in mediâ jam morte tenetur,
Non tamen abstinuit, nec voci, iræque pepercit :
At, tibi pro scelere, exclamat, pro talibus ausis, 535
Di (si qua est coelo pietas, quæ talia curet)

[ocr errors]

NOTES.

this passage.

510. Circumdat : in the sense of induit. or wife; from the verb conjungo. Mens : Cingitur: in the sense of cingit.

thought-purpose, 512. Sub nudo axe: under the naked

522. Ipse mers Hector: if my Hector him(open) canopy of heaven. Axis, properly self were now here, he could be of no avail. the pole, by synec. the whole heaven or sky. 523. Concede : betake yourself hither now, This altar was situated in the middle, or in this last extremity. This altar will procentre of the palace-mediis ædibus. On tect us all. Altars and other consecrated this altar, Priam had consecrated the per- places were looked upon as sanctuaries and petual fire. Here he was slain. If we sup- places of refuge: to which it was usual to pose the palace of such form and dimen- fice for safety. sions as to admit a large space or area in 525. Longævum: in the sense of senem. the centre, exposed to the open air above, 526. De cæde Pyrrhi: not from the death there will be no difficulty in understanding of Pyrrhus; but from death by the hand of

Pyrrhus. 514. Compleca Penates : embracing the 528. Jongis porticibus : in the long pas Penates with its shade. La Cerda would sages. Mr. Davidson renders the words, understand by Penates, the palace, or house, the long galleries. Lustrat: in the sense of as the word sometimes signifies; because pererrut. this was not the place of the Penates, or 52). Inifesto vulnere : with the hostile household gods. But others think the sta- wear on. Pulrus is here used hy meton. tues of the Penates were placed here, on the for the wouring instrument—the weapon same altar with that of Jupiter Hercæus. that inflicts e wound. 515. Natæ : in the sense of filiæ, vel 534. Jam jan.que: almost seizos him with

his hand, and presses upon him with his 516. Præcipites: quick-in haste.

spear. 517. Condensæ circùm : crowded around 531. Evasit: in the sense of pervenit the altars. Simulacra: in the sense of 534. zbstinur': in the sense or con!icuit. statuas.

for such wicked519. Miserrime: in the sense of infel cis- ness, for such augsc:cus deeds, may_tho sime, the voc. Conjux is either a husband gode rake vou suitable relurr... &c. Page

535. l'ro scelere, poto

nurus.

Persolvant grates dignas, et præmia reddant
Debita : qui nati coràm me cernere letum
Fecisti, et patrios fedâsti funere vultus.

539. Funere ejus filii At non ille, satum quo te mentiris, Achilles

540 540. A quo mentiris Talis in hoste fuit Priamo; sed jura fidemque

te satum esse Supplicis erubuit; corpusque exsangue sepulchro Reddidit Hectoreum, meque in mea regna remisit. Sic fatus senior, telumque irnbelle sinè ictu Conjecit: raucu quod protinùs ære repulsum, 545 545. Quod repulsum Et summo clypei nequicquam umbone pependit.

est protinûs Cui Pyrrhus : Referes ergo hæc, et nuntius ibis

547. Cui Pyrrhus rePelidæ genitori : illi mea tristia facta,

spondit Degeneremque Neoptolemum narrare memento. 549

549. Memento narra. Nunc morere.

re illi mea tristia facta, Hæc dicens, altaria ad ipsa trementem

Neoptolemum esse
Traxit, et in multo lapsantem sanguine nati:
Implicuitque comam lævâ; dextrâque coruscum

553. Ac abdidit eum Extulit, ac lateri capulo tenus abdidit, ensem.

lateri Priami tenùs caHæc finis Priami fatorum : hic exitus illum

pulo

NOTES.

sometimes signifies, in proportion to-cor

was slain.

Virgil, however, forbears to responding to. In the present case it is also mention these circumstances, and attributes emphatic. Ausis. Ausum is properly a the restoration of Hector's corpse to the part. of the verb audeo; used as a sub. generosity, justice, and sense of honor, of

538. Qui fecisti me coràm, &c. Priam Achilles, in order to set the character of does not complain of his killing his son; Pyrrhus in a more forcible light. but for the barbarity in making him to be Achilles had it in his power to have dethe witness of so shocking à sight-fortained the aged monarch, or to have put him slaying him before his eyes.

to death; but he blushed (erubuit) at the 539. Fædâsti patrios : hast defiled a fa- thought of violating the laws of nations, ther's face with the dead body of his son. which forbid all violence to the person of a Funus, says Servius, is a carcass or dead king; which require the forms of burial to body, warm and newly slain. When car- be allowed to the dead, and the laws of ried out to receive funeral rites, it is called humanity to be observed even to an eneiny, Exsequiæ; the ashes of it, when burned, when disarmed: those laws he observed, are called Reliquiæ; and the interment of and that faith (fidem) which is due to a it is called sepulchrum.

suppliant, whose person has always been 540. Al Achilles ille, quo: but Achilles held sacred by the laws of hospitality hiinself, by whom, you falsely say, you was 544. Ictu : in the sense of impetu. begotten, was not such toward Priam, his 545. Repulsum: it was so repelled, that enemy.

it fell short of wounding him. It, however, This is a severe sarcasm; as if he had pierced the boss of his buckler, and hung said: you claim descent from Achilles, but there harmless, having produced no effect. your actions give you the lie; no man of 546. Umbone. Umbo was the middle part humanity could beget such a son. Satum: of the shield. This rose or projected forin the sense of genitum.

ward from the plane of the shield, in a curved 542. Erubuit jura: he blushed at the or circular form. By summo umbone, we laws of nations, and the faith due to a sup- are to understand the farthest point of propliant-he had regard to the laws, &c. The jection; which was also the centre of the word cruiburt is extremely beautiful and ex- shield. Here the spear of Priam stuck. It pressive.

is sometimes taken for the whole shield, by After the death of Hector, Achilles bound synec. his dead body to his chariot, and drew it 547. Ibis nuntius: you shall go a mes round the tomb of Patroclus, whom Hector senger to my father Achilles, whom you had slain, and around the walls of Troy, for so much praise, and tell him that his son several days in succession. At this piteous has degenerated from the virtues of his fasight, Priam was induced to go to Achilles, ther. and beg the body, that it might receive the 548. Tristiu : foul--horrid. Ruæus says rites of sepulture; who, after inrch en- indigna. treaty, and many rich presents giv in him, 554. Fatorum: in the senso of vitæ. This restored the body on the twelfth day after it was the end of the life of Priam. Hic exi

Sorte tulit, Trojam incensam et prolapsa videntem 555
Pergama, tot quondam populis terrisque superbum
Regnatorem Asiæ: jacet ingens litore truncus,
Avulsumque humeris caput, et sinè nomine corpus.

At me tum primùm sævus circumstetit horror : 560: Subiit mihi in Obstupui : subiit chari genitoris imago,

560 mentem

Ut regem æquævum crudeli vulnere vidi
Vitam exhalantem : subiit deserta Creusa,
Et direpta domus, et parvi casus Yüli.
Respicio, et, quæ sit me circùm copia, lustro.
Deseruere omnes defessi, et corpora saltu

565 566. Dedêre ea ægra Ad terram misêre, aut ignibus ægra dedêre. ignibus

Jamque adeò super unus eram, cùm limina Vestä

NOTES.

tus tulit: this death carried him off (sorte) a name. The head being the index of the by divine appointment. This is a singular person, that being cut off, there is no means idiom. The several circumstances here left to come at the name, or to distinguish mentioned in the death of Priam, aggravate the person. Or, sinè nomine may mean, the cruelty of the action, and set forth the without honor-despicable. ferocious temper of Pyrrhus. He drew him 561. Ut: in the sense of cùm. (traxit,) trembling with age and decay of 562. Creüsa. The daughter of Priam and nature, to the very altar where he had fied Hecuba, and wife of Æneas. She perished for safety; and slipping (lapsantem) in the in the sack of Troy. Direpta : plundered. blood of his son; the sight of which was 563. Casus: in the sense of periculum. worse than death: then he twisted his hair 565. Saltu: by a leap or spring. with his left hand, and, with his right hand, 566. Ægra : faint-worn out with fadrew his glittering sword from its scabbard, tigue, so that they could fight no longer. and plunged it into his body up to the hilt. 567. Jamque adeò: and so I was now reHere we have a lively picture of a man lost maining alone, when I behold Helen, &c. to all sense of humanity, and capable of The parts of the verb supersum are here seperpetrating the most atrocious deeds. It parated, for the sake of the verse, by Tmesis. shows, also, the pen of a master. A painter Some critics have doubted the genuinecould copy it.

ness of this passage concerning Helen down 556. Pergama: neu. plu. properly the fort to the 588th line inclusive. The reasons asof Troy. It is frequently taken for the city signed are three. First: What is here said itself, by synec. Here it is used in its appro- of her fearing the resentment of Menelaus, priate sense and meaning, as distinguished contradicts what he says of her, (lib. vi. from the city.

525.) having sought to make peace with 555. Videntem : it agrees with illum. him by betraying Deịphobus.

Secondly : 557. Superbum regnatorem: the proud ruler "That Virgil here outrages the character of over so many nations and countries of Asia. his hero, by making him entertain a thought Priam is said to have once reigned over of killing a woman, and perpetrating the Phrygia Major and Minor : which included decd in the temple of Vesta. Thirdly: That the greater part of Asia Minor, or Natolia. Virgil cannot be supposed so unacquainted Ruæus interprets the words thus: Kegem with the history of Helen, as not to know Asiæ, clarum propler tot gentes, et tot regiones. that she left Troy long before it was taken. Jacet ingens truncus: he lies a large trunk In answer to the first objection, it may be upon the shore. Some think the poet had said that, though she endeavored to ingrahere in his view, the circumstances of the tiate herself with Menelaus, by betraying death of Pompey, whose head his assassins Deiphobus to him, it does not follow that cut off, and threw his body on the shore. he was entirely reconciled to her. And we Others say that Priam was not slain at the are told by Euripides that he carried off altar; but drawn by Pyrrhus to the tomb of Helen as a captive along with the Trojan his father, which was on the promontory of women, with a view to have her put to Sigæum, and there slain to appease his death by the Greeks whose sons had fallen Manes. He may have been slain at the al- in the war. To the second objection, it may tar, and his dead body afterward cast upon be replied, that Æneas did not put her to the shore. This supposition will make the death; and even if he had, the deed might poet consistent and intelligible. Regnatorem have been palliated, in a good degrce, by a put in apposition with illum.

consideration of the circumstances of the 558. Corpus sinè noniine: a body without In the hurry and confusion of min.

case,

Servantem, et tacitam secretâ in sede latentem
Tyndarida aspicio : dant clara incendia lucem
Erranti, passiinque oculos per cuncta ferenti. 570

570. Mih' erranti, feIlla, sibi infestos eversa ob Pergama Teucros,

rentique oculos

671. Illa, communis Et pænas Danaûm, et deserti conjugis iras

Erinnys Trojæ et ejus Permetuens, Trojæ et patriæ communis Erinnys, patriæ, perinetuens TeuAbdiderat sese, atque aris invisa sedebat.

cros infestos sibi obeverExarsere ignes animo : subit ira cadentem

575 sa Pergama, et Ulcisci patriam, et sceleratas sumere pænas. Scilicet hæc Spartam incolumis patriasque Mycenas

577. Hæc-ne scilicet, Aspiciet? partoque ibit regina triumpho?

inquiebam, incolumis as

piciet Spartam
Conjugicmque, domumque, patres, natosque videbit,
Iliadum turbâ et Phrygiis comitata ministris ? 580
Occiderit ferro Priamus ? Troja arserit igni ?
Dardanium toties sudârit sanguine litus ?
Non ita : namque etsi nullum memorabile nomen

583. Non ita erit Fæmineâ in pænâ est, nec habet victoria laudem; namque Extinxisse nefas tamen, et sumpsisse merentis 585

NOTES. gied passions with which his mind must then 573. Permetuens: dreading-greatly fearhave been racked, who could have blamed ing. The per in composition increases the him if he had avenged his own and his coun- signification of the simple word. Helen try's sufferings upon her, who was justly proved fatal both to Greece and Troy; to chargeable with the guilt of so many thou- the former, in the loss of so many heroes; sand deaths, and the utter desolation of a to the latter, in being the cause of its ruin whole innocent people—a once flourishing She is therefore styled the common fury and powerful kingdom? But when, instead Erinnys, a name common to the three furies. of giving way to the first emotions of a just See Geor. i. 278. resentment, he checks himself, deliberates 574. Invisa: hated-an adious sight; raupon the merits of the action, and is at length ther than unseen, as Ruæus has it. prevented from doing it by the interposition 575. Ignes exarsere: flames flashed in my of his goddess mother; or, in other words, mind. Ira subit: my resentment rose to by the force of superior judgment, there is avenge my falling country. no reason even for the severest critics to 576. Sumere sceleratas panas : to take secensure his conduct. Lastly: Herodotus vere punishment. Or, perhaps, to take puinforms us that he learned from some Egyp- nishment of such a cuised woinan.

The tian priests, who had received the same from same as, sumere pænas de scelerata femina. Menelaus himself, that the Trojans had sent Ruæus says, pænas sceleris. Heyne, penas Helen to Egypt before the Greeks rede- sumptas à scelerata. manded her. Of this fact, the historian ap- 577. Mycenas: Mycenæ was not the place pears to have been fully convinced. But of her own nativity, but of Menelaus, her whether Virgil was acquainted with this husband. She was born at Sparta. Scilipiece of his history or not, it is sufficient cet hæc: shall she, indeed, in safety behold! that he had poetical tradition on his side; &c. These are all animated interrogatories, and that he is supported by the authority of and show the mind of Æneas hurrying from Homer and Euripides. A moment's atten- object to object, and agitated with a tide of tion to the style and manner of expression passions. At last he concludes it must not in these lines, will convince any one that be. She must suffer the punishment due to they are no interpolation. Unus: in the her crimes. sense of solus.

578. Parto triumpho: having obtained a 563. Servantem limina Vestæ; the verb triumph-a triumph being obtained. servare signifies to look after any thing with 530. Comitata turbâ : accompanied by a anxiety, and solicitude; with a jealous eye, train of Trojan matrons, and Phrygian serand watchful of every danger. Limina : in vants, shall she see her former marriage bed? the sense of templum.

&c. Iliadum: gen. plu. of Ilias, a Trojan 569. Tyndarida: acc. of Tyndaris, a name woman. Conjugium : pristinum conjugem, of Helen, the daughter of Jupiter and Leda; says Heyne. Palres : for parentes. Bo`called, because Tyndarus, king of Sparta, 582. Dardanium : an adj. the same as married Leda, her mother.

Trojanum. 572. Deserti conjugis : her deserted, or 583. Nomen : glory-renown. abandoned husband, Menelaus.

585. Tamen laudabor: nevertheless, I shall

59C

595

Laudabor pænas ; animumque explêsse juvabit 587. Meorum civium. Ultricis flammæ, et cineres satiâsse meorum.

Talia jactabam, et furiatâ mente ferebar, 589. Cùm alma pa- Cùm mihi se, non antè oculis tam clara, videndam meis oculis antè, obtulit Obtulit, et purâ per noctem in luce refulsit se videndam mihi, et re- Alma parens, confessa Deam; qualisque videri fulsit per noctem Cælicolis et quanta solet ; dextrâque prehensum

592. Continuit me pre- Continuit, roseoque hæc insuper addidit ore: hensum dextrâ 596. Non aspicies pri

Nate, quis indomitas tantus dolor excitat iras ? us, ubi liqueris parentem Quid furis ? aut quonam nostri tibi cura recessit? Anchisen, fessum Non priùs aspicies, ubi fessum ætate parentem

598. Circùın quos, Liqueris Anchisen ? superet conjuxne Creusa, omnes Graiæ acies er- Ascaniusque puer ? quos omnes undique Graiæ rant undique

Circùm errant acies: et, ni mea cura resistat, 600. Tulerint eos, et inimicus ensis hauserit Jam flammæ tulerint, inimicus et hauserit ensis. eorum sanguinem. Non tibi 'Tyndaridis facies invisa Lacænæ,

602. Sed inclementia Culpatusve Paris : Divûm inclementia, Divům, Divûm, Divûm, inquam, Has evertit opes, sternitque à culmine Trojam. evertit 604. Namque eripiam

Aspice: namque omnem, quæ nunc obducta tuenti omnem nubem,quæ nunc

Mortales hebetat visus tibi, et humida circùm obducta hebetat Caligat, nubem eripiam : tu ne qua parentis

60)

605

NOTES.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

be praised for having put an end to the from his present object, and to direct his remonster of wickedness, and taken vengeance gard to his own—to his aged father, his of one so justly deserving it. Nefas, very for- infant son, and his beloved wife, who othercibly expresses the enormity of her crimes: wise might have fallen victims to the fury she was wickedness itself.

of the Greeks. We are told that Hclen was first rayished 593. Addidit hæc: she added these words. by Theseus. Afterward she married Mene- 595. Tibi: in the sense of tua : thy care laus, whom she left for Paris. She also -regard. Quònam : the compound in the committed incest with her son-in-law Ory- sense of the simple quò. thus, the son of Paris and none. It is 597. Superet : in the sense of superest. also said that she had an amour with Achil- 600. Tulerint: would have carried them les. She may truly be called (nefas) a off-consumed them. monster of wickedness. Merentis : part. of 601. Lacænæ Tyndaridis : of Spartan HeMereor, agreeing with ejus understood : oflen. See 569. supra. Invisa tibi: hatefui her deserving or meriting it.

or odious to you. 586. Juvabit : it will delight me to have 602. Divûm inclementia. This reading is satisfied

my desire of burning or ardent re- much more emphatic than verùm inclemenvenge. Flammæ may here be used in the tia Divûm, as in the common editions: and sense of flammeæ vel ardentis. Animum: it is supported by the authority of ancient in the sense of desiderium. Animus may manuscripts: it is the reading of Heyne signify any affection of the mind; especially and Valpy. Homer makes Priam exculpate in the plural. For ultricis flammæ, Ruæus Helen, and lay the blame of the destruction says, ardentis ultionis. Heyne says, flammâ of his country to the gods themselves. Iliad sive irâ ultrice (hoc est) ullione.

iii. 164. 589. Clara : manifest-clear: attended 603. Has opes: in the sense of hanc powith evident marks of Divinity.

tentiam. Opes, is, properly, power acquired 591. Confessa Deam: manifesting the god- by wealth. dess. Qualisque, et quanta : such, and as 604. Quæ nunc obducta: which now spread illustrious as she used to be seen, &c. Ve- before you, looking earnestly, blunts your nus was the most proper deity to interpose mortal sight, &c. This passage Milton apin behalf of Helen, whom she had long pro- pears to have had in view, where the angel tected, and had conferred on Paris, as a re- prepares Adam for beholding the future viward for his adjudging the prize of beauty sion of his posterity, and their history; to her, rather than to Juno or Minerva. which he is going to set before him. See See Æn. i. 27. This interposition of Venus Paradise Lost, lib. xi. verse 411. Humida: was very seasonable in another respect; to moist-impregnated with vapor so as to in

eck the ardor of his soul, to divert him crease the darkness.

« PreviousContinue »